29 January 2021
Tirupati Graphite plc ('Tirupati' or the 'Company')
First Revenues from Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre
Tirupati Graphite plc, the fully integrated, revenue generative, specialist graphite producer and graphene developer with operations in Madagascar and India, is pleased to announce that its Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre ('TGMRC'), which is focused on graphene manufacturing, graphene applications development and minerals processing technology development, has secured its first commercial contract. This is to provide mineral processing technology development services with Optiva Resources Limited ('ORL'), a UK registered mining company, to develop mineral processing technology solutions for the Vanadium, Titanium, Magnetite ('VTM') deposits on its Marela Project ('Marela') in Guinea, West Africa.
· TGMRC shall conduct a technical feasibility study for developing a process to extract sellable concentrate from VTM deposits for an upfront fee.
· Successful development of a process shall entitle the Company to a 5% equity in ORL with an additional right to subscribe for an amount equal to 5% warrants.
· Post success of lab scale process development, the parties intend to further the cooperation to pilot scale studies and engineering and design of a commercial operation.
· This represents the first of the many mineral processing technology development contracts the Company expects to engage in with ongoing discussions with various prospective clients.
Shishir Poddar, CEO of Tirupati Graphite, said, "This engagement with ORL represents another start of first revenues from the third business unit of the Company; the other two are already revenue generating. While we continue to progress on the graphene developments, the start of revenue generation from our MINTECH centre of excellence at TGMRC aligns with our strategy of obtaining early-stage diversified and independent revenue streams across our three business units. We are confident that with our mineral processing expertise and innovative approach, we will reach a solution for ORL to unlock the full potential of the VTM deposits in Marela."
Mr. Charles Douglas Hamilton, Executive Director ORL, said "We are pleased to have partnered with Tirupati to find technical solutions for commercialising Marela. We have been impressed by the depth of experience and knowledge the TGMRC team has in complex mineral processing and extractive metallurgy and we are looking forward to working closely with their team of specialists."
Tirupati continues to advance its operations across its portfolio including TGMRC in India, which is composed of GRACE, a graphite & graphene centre of excellence; and MINTECH, a mineral processing & extractive metallurgy centre of excellence.
At MINTECH, the Company has entered into an agreement with ORL to develop a process to utilise the VTM material from Marela.
TGMRC has been engaged to undertake a technical feasibility study ('TFS') to develop a physical beneficiation process for achieving a commercial and scalable process and produce marketable grades of ilmenite and magnetite. The test works includes lab scale testing of a bulk sample from Marela and will deliver a TFS report for an upfront fee, which shall include physical and chemical characterisation, physical beneficiation studies including grinding, crushing, scrubbing, gravity separation, magnetic separation, value addition characterisation, process flow sheet development and an indicative cost structure.
Phase 1 of testing will focus on achieving commercially acceptable separate concentrates of ilmenite and magnetite. Phase 2 will be triggered for pyrometallurgical tests to obtain titanium slag and pig iron as end products using optimised mix of ilmenite and magnetite from Phase 1, if Phase 1 does not deliver separate concentrates. Successful development of a process at the end of Phase 1 or Phase 2, shall entitle the Company to a 5% equity in ORL with an additional right to subscribe for 5% warrants. Post the success of lab scale process development, the parties intend to further the cooperation to pilot scale studies and engineering and design of a commercial operation.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
** ENDS **
For further information, please visit https://www.tirupatigraphite.co.uk/ or contact:
Tirupati Graphite Plc
+44 (0) 20 3984 9894
Optiva Securities Limited (Broker)
+44 (0) 20 3137 1902
St Brides Partners Ltd (Financial PR)
Isabel de Salis / Cosima Akerman
+44 (0) 20 236 1177
Tirupati Graphite Plc is a revenue-generative, multi-asset, multi-jurisdictional, fully integrated producer and developer of high-grade natural flake graphite, speciality graphite and graphene, which captures the entire value chain. With a unique set of properties, graphite has diverse applications with multiple growth streams and graphene forms the new generation of 2D materials. In support of this, the Company places a special emphasis on "green" applications, including renewable energy generation, energy storage and composites, and is committed to ensuring its operations are sustainable as well.
The Company's operations include primary mining and processing in Madagascar, where the Company operates two key projects, Sahamamy and Vatomina; 3,000 tpa of high-quality flake graphite concentrate with up to 96% purity is currently being produced and sold to customers globally, and this is planned to increase to 81,000 tpa by 2024 as per the Company's modular medium-term development plan.
In India, through Tirupati Speciality Graphite Private Limited ('TSG'), with whom the Company has a binding acquisition agreement subject to regulatory approvals, Tirupati processes and produces speciality graphite for use in hi-tech applications like lithium-ion batteries, fire retardants and composites. Its specialty graphite processing operations include the 1,200 tpa Patalganga Project, which was commissioned in July 2019 to manufacture and sell CARBOFLAMEX®, a trademarked fire-retardant expandable graphite product. At the next stage of development, Patalganga shall further be expanded to 4,800 tpa capacity with capabilities to also produce high purity and micronised graphite, so increasing market and product reach by 2021. TSG has developed unique green processing technologies for manufacturing these advanced materials.
After establishing itself in the specialty graphite markets through the Patalganga Project, an additional 24,000 tpa specialty graphite processing facility is to be established in two 12,000 tpa phases. The plant will produce expandable, high purity, micronised and spherical graphite. The west coast of India has been chosen as the location and a detailed feasibility study has been completed. TSG is also in the process of establishing the Tirupati Graphene and Mintech Research Centre, a state-of-the-art R&D centre focussed on manufacturing graphene, developing its applications, and further providing environmentally friendly technologies consultancy for mineral processing.